East Anacapa Island 13 June 2017I'm a native of Ventura. I took a Sierra Club trip to Anacapa in 1975 and had a wonderful time but at that time, before the Park was created and DDT had been (or was just going to be) banned, there were very few birds, no Brown Pelicans that i recall. We were limited to West Anacapa and it was early Spring, so Giant Coreopsis was blooming. I get horribly seasick and although i had a wonderful trip, i saw no reason to make that trip again. i decided to do some local travel this year and selected this trip. I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS PROGRAM HIGHLY ENOUGH. As with every Road Scholar trip i've taken, our guide Peg, was fabulous: well organized, a kind and understanding leader, well prepared. the specialists/experts who came in were just as well organized and even though i've spent almost every one of my 71 years here, i heard so many new things, even on the walking tour of the city, that i'm embarrassed to say how ignorant i am. NOTE: to those considering this trip. i highly recommend trekking poles. our trip to Santa Cruz included a choice of three walks. i took the longer walk and i'm glad i brought my poles. we walked 5.54 miles, elevation gain of 527 feet. it was warm, so light layers and BRIMMED HAT are highly recommended. also, i use scopolamine patches for motion sickness and i was still queasy on the outbound trip to Anacapa and for a brief period on our outbound trip to Santa Cruz. our trip to Anacapa was Tuesday and it was equally as wonderful. we are no longer able to access West Anacapa (can't remember if this is permanent or just during nesting season). we climbed the stairs on East Anacapa, which are switchback steel steps (150). this is the end of the island where the lighthouse stands and also where the iconic arch is located. our most common seagulls were nesting and i can say without equivocation that those are the cutest chicks--i'm quite sure i recognized the adult bird who nails my car when i'm doing grocery shopping but that is another story. this end of the island is flatter than Santa Cruz but we were offered options for our hike. my stats aren't as good for that trip but i think we walked about 3+ miles with an elevation gain of about 550 feet. it was warm there, too.
we saw harbor seals, sea lions, many varieties of sea/shore birds, dolphins including bottle nose, BLUE WHALES, and, on Santa Cruz, Island Foxes. i had only seen an Island Fox once before, an elderly and ill Catalina fox in a cage at Catalina--receiving treatment.
These islands are known as the Galapagos of North America for good reason. please come to visit us!
i'm having trouble uploading photos. i'll keep trying.
Thank you, June, for your informative report and everything in between. I will be going there at the end of January 2021. Soooo looking forward to this natural area.